Coronavirus (Covid 19) – Update

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 situation all staff at the Barnet UNISON Branch office are working from home in line with the Government’s instruction.

If you are a member seeking advice or support from UNISON the quickest way to receive a response is to email us at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk, if at all possible. You can leave a message speaking slowly and clearly please include your name and telephone number on 020 8359 2088. We will respond as soon as we can.

Alternatively you can contact UNISON Direct online only

https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/online-enquiries/

To Join UNISON click the following link 

https://join.unison.org.uk/

Joint Trade Union All Schools Members Zoom Meeting

 

Some areas of the country are moving more towards bringing in more lockdown measures but schools are opening in September – fully? Partially?
Confused? The trade unions are preparing their guidance for members which we are expecting to receive from mid-August.

This meeting will be very important for you to catch up with developments and staying safe so do please join us:

Join Zoom Meeting
26th August at 6pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82436701879?pwd=RXQ4a2RGbjhMeHBGR0h2Y1FyZ3Aydz09
Meeting ID: 824 3670 1879
Passcode: 490053

73% Say 2.75% Is Not Enough!

The consultation we carried out in Barnet over the National Pay claim came back with the result that 73% of Council workers, Barnet Homes workers and School Support Staff responding were prepared to be balloted for industrial action to secure a pay deal worth more than the miserable 2.75% we have been offered. 27% voted to accept the pay offer.

We are definitely worth more than a hand clap. We hope to report in 2 weeks’ time on what the result has been nationwide and the next steps that will be taken.

Need support for your mental health at work?

 

Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. If eligible they provide you nine months advice and guidance from a mental health specialist who can help you learn coping mechanisms, build resilience, access therapy or work with your employer to make adjustments to help your mental health at work.

Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8 am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.

Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It could be available to you if you can answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Are you aged 16 or over?
  • Are you in work, on an apprenticeship, about to start work or furloughed?
  • Do you live in Great Britain?
  • Do you have mental health difficulties that impact upon your work?

This list is not exhaustive and it is ultimately up to the Department of Work and Pensions Access to Work Mental Health Support Service adviser to determine eligibility.

Able Futures provide 1 – 2 – 1 support, is free and easy to use and is a confidential service.

Read case studies of people Able Futures have supported here:

https://able-futures.co.uk/mental-health-support-for-individuals/case-studies/

For further information visit the Able Futures website here:

https://able-futures.co.uk/

 

Urgent TUPE advice for Cambridge Education members

Dear Member

It has come to my attention that due to the short timescale imposed on the TUPE to the new company the usual checking of personal data that always takes place when staff transfer under TUPE is not happening.

What should happen?

In TUPE consultation the current employer will send a copy of the data they are going to send to the new employer to the employee in order that the employee can confirm it is accurate.

What is happening in this TUPE?

I have been advised that staff are not being sent a copy of their personal data to check. They are being advised via an email to check their personal data themselves.

What is UNISON’s advice?

As a UNISON member you are entitled to support and advice.

In this case the advice from UNISON is very clear.

Please check that your personal data which is currently being held by Cambridge Education is accurate.

At some point in the future you may need copies of your personal data which is why it is important that you check your personal data is accurate.

UNISON has had too many experiences of dealing with the consequences of inaccurate personal data especially where there have been multiple employers.

What can you do?

You can request to have all of your personal data sent to you by Cambridge Education via a secure email.

If you have any questions please email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

BREAKING NEWS:Trade Unions all call for outsourced Schools contract to be brought in-house.

 

 

 

“Barnet Council’s draft Equality Impact Assessment is fundamentally inadequate because it does not assess the impact of the two options on the equality groups and assumes no negative impact. But there is a world of difference in terms and conditions, particularly pensions, between being transferred to the Council and being transferred to a Local Authority Controlled Company which currently does not exist and will be modelled on other Council arms length companies that have inferior terms and conditions. Therefore the Equality Impact Assessment must be rewritten.”

Dexter Whitfield

“Why, why, why are Barnet Council making this crisis worse? The contractor is dumping the contract through no fault of the staff. All the staff want hear from Barnet Council are these two little words “Welcome Back”. The evidence for returning the hard working Education and Skills workforce is contained within the Joint Trade Union report written By Dexter Whitfield.”

John Burgess Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

It is clear that the best option is for Education and Skills to return the council.   Employment will be less attractive with an LACC resulting in it being harder to recruit and retain the experienced staff required and this can only mean an inferior service for schools and the young people of Barnet.

Keith Nason, Secretary Barnet NEU.

“The comparison of key criteria in this report makes it clear to the advantages of an in-house option and I encourage GMB members’ to read this detailed report.

Outsourcing has been bad news for Barnet staff. Time and time again, we have seen private providers fail to deliver while members’ terms and conditions and national agreements have been undermined.

GMB are clear that it is better value for services such as this to be brought back in-house.”

Mary Goodson, GMB Barnet Branch Secretary & Krissy O’Hagan, GMB London Region Organiser.

The following Trade Unions representing workers from Cambridge Education have worked together with their members and Dexter Whitfield to produce a report to Barnet Council.

  • UNISON
  • NEU
  • GMB
  • NASUWT
  • Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP)

Summary of the report

The two options of in-house provision or establishing new Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC) are examined using 12 key criteria (see Table 1) with in-house provision having significant advantages over the latter.

1.The Council’s draft Equalities Impact Assessment is significantly flawed because it concludes there is ‘No Impact’ for any of the equality groups when in fact there is a Positive Impact for all equality groups with the in-house option but a Major Negative Impact for all equality groups with the LACC option.

2. We have examined the ability of Education and Skills to retain and recruit qualified and experienced staff and conclude that the continuity of service and quality of pension schemes are fundamentally important. The LACC option fails on both these criteria.

3. A sustainable motivated workforce to provide the range and quality of services required by schools, parents and children for their physical and mental health is dependent on the retention of the existing staff and the recruitment of new qualified and experienced staff is critically important to ensure high quality services for Barnet Schools.

4. A divided, demoralised workforce as a result of a differential in terms and conditions combined with an inability to retain and recruit qualified staff is inherent in the LACC model and will have a long lasting negative impact in education and the community.

5. The Council has failed to prepare a full Equality Impact Assessment for the consultation process.

6. The Council has stated that the Equality Impact Assessment and the full business case will only be completed after the consultation feedback deadline of 4pm 3 July 2020. This contradicts Government policy set out in the Green Book, and ignores over a decade of established custom and practice in Barnet and is likely to fail to take full account of key and other unforeseen emerging issues.

7. The multinational Mott MacDonald’s use of the Force Majeure contract clause raises many questions given that Barnet’s Education and Skills contract represented just 0.23% of the company’s £771m annual turnover in 2019. The fact that all local authorities with education responsibilities, teachers and parents are confronted by the same impact of COVID-19 raises questions over the real motives of this decision.

Recommendations

1. We strongly recommend that Barnet Council transfers Education and Skills staff from Cambridge Education back to direct employment in the Council.

2. We recommend that the contract management functions of the ISS catering contract, which is going to be novated to the Council, are established in the Education Department.

To View the Full report click on link below

Barnet Why Educ Skills in-house 2020

Notes to Editors.

Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

History of the outsourcing of Schools Meals and Education & Skills services

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2015/11/17/history-of-the-outsourcing-of-schools-meals-and-education-skills-services/

 

Catering Services: “Jewel in the Crown”: Privatisation of Education & Skills and Catering in Barnet

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/Barnet%20Jewel%20in%20the%20Crown%20final.pdf

 

Education & Skills and Catering: Threat of large-scale subcontracting

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/sites/default/files/Barnet%20Education%20&%20Skills%20subcontracting.pdf

Barnet UNISON is hosting a presentation and discussion by Nafsiyat on intercultural therapy

 

Guest Speaker: Baffour Ababio Clinical Lead, who works for Nafsiyat

“Nafsiyat is an intercultural therapy centre, committed to providing effective and accessible psychotherapy and counselling services to people from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London. Our team is made up of experienced, fully qualified psychotherapists and counsellors from diverse backgrounds who are sensitive to the particular therapeutic needs of cultural minority groups.

We provide short-term intercultural therapy in over 20 different languages, via referral, to individuals, groups, and couples. We also offer long-term, privately funded therapy via our Nafsiyat Choice service.”

https://www.nafsiyat.org.uk/index.php/about-us/

Barnet UNISON comment.

The recent traumatic events, both the murder of George Floyd, yet another reminder of systemic racism, and reports that BAME communities are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19, which only serves to highlight existing health inequalities, calls for greater support for our BAME members.

These recent events have bought to surface many unresolved traumatic events, in so many BAME individuals, therefore it is important that we recognise how deeply ingrained emotional traumas are imbedded.

Studies have shown prenatal and early childhood experiences have lasting emotional and psychological effects. A 3 year study recognised the link between childhood experiences; known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and current health status in adults.

Whilst ACEs explored the impact of traumatic childhood events, there is an emerging line of research exploring the impact of transgenerational transmission of traumatic events onto the next and subsequent generations.

Also known as ‘intergeneration trauma’, this research is illuminating how historical and cultural traumas affect survivors’ children for generations to come, passing the symptoms and behaviours of trauma survival along the family line.

Racism and inequalities are often addressed from a surface layer, but now is the time for the physiological and psychological impact of enduring global and systemic racism and discrimination, to be at the forefront of beginning the journey towards healing, health and wellbeing.

Cultural specific counselling should be provided by employers to facilitate better understanding of an individual’s background, ethnicity and belief system in order to empower and support ‘all’ people to improve their health and wellbeing, without fear of biased views and stereotypical beliefs about them.

We have Clinical Lead, Baffour Ababio, from Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, who will provide a 1 hour presentation about the service provided at Nafsiyat on Tuesday 14th  12.30- 2pm; short term intercultural therapy for a range of issues, from day-to-day worries to complex psychological conditions.

 

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